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Disney CEO Bob Iger Faces Backlash Over Strike Comments Amid Sale Speculation

Criticism mounts as Iger's remarks on Hollywood strike raise questions about potential Disney sale

Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) CEO Bob Iger has recently been the subject of criticism from the creative community for his comments on the ongoing strike by Hollywood writers and actors. Iger, who has long been admired by both Wall Street and his employees, has been accused of being “tone deaf” and unrealistic in his economic expectations.

At the heart of the controversy is Iger’s sudden change in demeanor, which many believe is linked to a potential sale of Disney, The Wrap reports.

As of Thursday afternoon, shares of Disney have declined to $85.34, hitting a new low for 2023 and coming close to the lows seen in December 2022 and March 2020.

Chart: Disney Stock Hits Triple Bottom

Wall Street’s Perspective:

It’s worth noting that Iger’s comments were made during an interview with CNBC, a platform that directly reaches Wall Street trading floors. This has led some to speculate that his primary audience is not Hollywood talent, but rather the financial community and other industry leaders.

The Potential Sale:

Analysts believe that Iger is considering selling some of Disney’s assets. His recent comments that linear television “may not be core” to Disney’s business, coupled with his search for outside investors for ESPN’s transition to streaming, lend credibility to this theory.

The Return Of Iger:

Iger’s return to Disney last November, after having transformed the company into a franchise powerhouse with Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and the Fox studio, may have been motivated by a desire to execute one more significant act— a sale.

The Potential Buyer:

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Tim Cook, a regular at Sun Valley, is considered a likely buyer. An Apple-Disney pairing would likely be well-received by Wall Street, given the mutual respect and shared history between the two companies.

The Impact Of The Strike:

The ongoing strike by writers and actors could disrupt a potential sale. Iger’s recent comments suggest that he is more interested in making a deal than in making major concessions to the striking talent.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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